March 11, 2014
WICHITA, Kan. – The Lamar men’s tennis team picked up four singles victories in the morning, but weren’t as fortunate in the evening as the team split a pair of matches with UMKC and No. 63 Wichita State at Rock Road Genesis Health Center.
The 4-3 win over UMKC gave LU its ninth on the season, and the 4-0 loss to WSU was the schools sixth.
“UMKC played a good match and fought us hard the whole way through,” head coach Scott Shankles said. “They showed a lot of character today, and [UMKC coach] Cassidy Mears did a fine job of coaching. They won the big points when they needed to in doubles, but we got off to good starts in singles and didn’t let go. Wichita State just showed us that they were the better team, and we have a lot that we can learn from the match going into Thursday.”
The top half of the lineup was the most effective vs. the Kangaroos, beginning with Nikita Lis at No. 1 singles. The freshman out of Russia handed Tomas Patino a 6-4, 6-3 decision. Michael Feucht was similarly successful in the second spot, winning 6-4, 6-4 over Mike Psarros, and Juuso Laitinen rounded out the strong display with a 6-4, 6-2 win in the third position.
Steven McMullan was the other victor during singles, beating Jai Grewal 6-3, 6-2 at No. 6.
Vinh Pham dealt Carl-Philip Lindqvist a 7-5, 6-1 defeat at No. 4, and Mikko Rajamaki fell 7-6, 3-6, 10-8 to Uldis Gaismins at line five.
The doubles round ended up very close as Patino and Psarros became the first duo to beat Feucht and Laitinen at the No. 1 spot, winning 8-6. Jeandre Hoogenboezem
and Rajamaki made up for it with a win by the same score over Conner Edwards and Pham, but the team of Lis and McMullan dropped an 8-7 nailbiter in the third spot to Gaismins and Andrey Smirnov.
The Cardinals returned to the club to face the Shockers for an evening encounter, which was highlighted by the return to form for the tandem of Feucht and Laitinen, which beat Tomislav Gregurovic and Tin Ostojic 8-4 at No. 1 doubles.
However, Ilija Cuic and Jocelyn Devilliers were able to beat Hoogenboezem and Rajamaki 8-3, and then the duo of McMullan and Lis fell 8-5 to Guillermo Nicol and Guillermo de Vilchez to secure the doubles point for the hosts.
In singles, Devilliers got it started with a 6-0, 6-3 win over McMullan, and Nicol put the Shockers within a point of clinching with a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Rajamaki. Unfortunately for LU, Ostojic enacted a bit of revenge for his earlier doubles loss, beating Feucht 6-4, 6-1.
The Cards appeared to be in good position in the unfinished matches as Lis led Cuic 6-3, 6-5 at No. 1, and Laitinen was up 7-6, 4-3 over Gregurovic at line three. Lindqvist was in a battle with de Vilchez at the third spot, rebounding from a 6-3 opening set loss to take the second in 6-2 fashion.
LU will return to action Thursday with another doubleheader, this time taking on Nebraska-Omaha in the morning before returning to go up against the host in 15th-ranked Oklahoma State.